WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr


Attorney General investigating Complaints Of Price Gouging, As Rumors Swirl

Reported: Jan. 10, 2014 11:20 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 10, 2014 11:48 PM EST
EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

News Image

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Stefano DiPietrantonio) -- Rumors and rumblings over alleged price gouging at some area convenience stores were burning-up social media as the water crisis unfolded in West Virginia Friday.

Eyewitness News checked into convenience stores from Cross Lanes to Dunbar to Kanawha City.

Bill Smeedy, the owner of the Cold Spot in Dunbar, was stunned to find ugly comments on Facebook, which were accusing him of jacking-up water prices.

"We're not gouging anybody," Smeedy said. “We're hurt more by someone hollering gouging, and there's not a basis to it."

He poured through his receipts to show exactly what people had paid for water on Thursday, when people swarmed his store for water and ice. Prices ranged from 79 cents to 99 cents for individual bottles of water.

"We don't sell by the case," he said.

Yet on social media, someone claimed he was selling cases of water for $30 and up, and the damaging rumor began to catch fire.

"It's really sad for one person to go buy 30 bottles at 99 cents, because he wants his water and everybody would have paid 99 cents," he said.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said he is getting tons of complaints of price gouging at his office.

"I think it's outrageous,” said Morrisey said. “West Virginians, most of them are wonderful, good people, they're very sharing, but you always get some bad apples out there who try to take advantage of people during states of emergency, it's unconscionable!"

Morrisey said to nail the cheaters, you need to do two important things.

"Make sure you keep your receipt and ultimately file a report with our office," he said.
Smeedy denied the rumors of gouging and challenged anyone who said he engaged in it to produce a receipt.

“Just bring the receipt that I gouged you, and you get $500,” he said. “Won't happen.”

Morrisey anyone caught price gouging could expect to pay a $5,000 and, since it is a misdemeanor, could spend up to a year in jail.



MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
Woman Charged With Murder In Lesage Shooting; Victim identified
News
Apr. 17, 2014 11:10 PM EDT
LESAGE, W.Va. (Sean Delancey, Heath Harrison) – Police ...
Full News Story and Video

Nurses Accused Of Stealing From Senior Home Residents
News
Apr. 17, 2014 11:22 PM EDT
HURRICANE, W.Va. (Katy Brown) -- When you put your ...
Full News Story and Video

South Charleston Police Firefighters Getting Raise
News
Apr. 17, 2014 10:56 PM EDT
SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Kera Mashek) -- Firefighters ...
Full News Story and Video


News Cabell Man Accused Of Break-In Now In Jail
Apr. 17, 2014 10:56 PM EDT
News Community Meeting Focuses On Sentencing For Criminals
Apr. 17, 2014 10:57 PM EDT
News Felon Caught With 80 Guns Pleads Guilty
Apr. 17, 2014 10:58 PM EDT
News Woman's Body Found In Ohio River In Hancock County
Apr. 17, 2014 6:57 PM EDT
News Murdered Woman's Son Working To Honor, Remember Her During Hope Walk
Apr. 17, 2014 11:30 PM EDT
News Kids Help A Baby They Find In The Street
Apr. 17, 2014 9:40 PM EDT
News Lil' Bit Of Heaven Cupcakes Recognized As One Of America's Best
Apr. 17, 2014 11:32 PM EDT
News Controversy Over Plants' Domestic Violence Allegations Starting To Affect Kanawha Court Cases
Apr. 17, 2014 6:10 PM EDT
News Firefighter Hopefuls Show Off Skills
Apr. 17, 2014 6:39 PM EDT
News Coal Train Cars Derail In Mercer County
Apr. 17, 2014 6:41 PM EDT
News Barlow Drive Closed For Pothole Repair
Apr. 17, 2014 6:41 PM EDT
News Man Charged With Huntington Murder Is Caught In Ky.
Apr. 17, 2014 6:42 PM EDT
News SUV Pulled From Ohio River In Point Pleasant Area Matches Description Of Stolen Vehicle
Apr. 17, 2014 6:42 PM EDT
News U.S. 60 Closed Following Fatal Accident Near St. Albans
Apr. 17, 2014 5:46 PM EDT
News Morrisey Seeks Dismissal Of Charleston Challenge To WV Gun Law
Apr. 17, 2014 11:01 PM EDT
News Rock Slide Closes WV Route 20 Near Hinton
Apr. 17, 2014 3:05 PM EDT
News Kanawha Deputies Investigating After Woman Says Gun Pointed At Her
Apr. 17, 2014 6:43 PM EDT
News "Streaky" The Eagle Dies From Injuries
Apr. 17, 2014 11:50 AM EDT
News Former Junior ROTC Instructor Linked In Sex Case Allowed Visitation For His Minor Children, Grandchildren
Apr. 17, 2014 6:45 PM EDT
News Suspicious Backpack Found Near Qdoba At Dudley Farms Plaza Turns Out To Be Harmless
Apr. 17, 2014 11:09 AM EDT
News Wayne County Judge Overturns Man's 1989 Murder, Malicious Wounding Convictions
Apr. 17, 2014 2:34 PM EDT
News Two People Injured In Jackson County Fire
Apr. 17, 2014 10:03 AM EDT
News New Pikeville Office To Help Entrepreneurs
Apr. 17, 2014 10:12 AM EDT
News WV State Police Says Investigation Of Wetzel County Arson Probe Progressing
Apr. 17, 2014 9:30 AM EDT
News Huntington Police Crack Down On Drug Problem
Apr. 16, 2014 11:52 PM EDT
News Police Make Another Raid At Transit Mall
Apr. 16, 2014 11:35 PM EDT
News Fire Reported At Assisted Living Facility In Greenup County
Apr. 16, 2014 11:12 PM EDT
News WCHS To Host Town Hall Meeting On Lessons Learned From Water Crisis
Apr. 16, 2014 11:44 PM EDT
News Poll Shows Tie In Ohio Governor's Race
Apr. 17, 2014 9:13 AM EDT
News New Contact Visit Ban Enacted For Regional Jails In West Virginia
Apr. 16, 2014 9:59 PM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
James River Coal wants to auction off business

James River Coal Co. intends to sell parts or all of its business at an auction in July.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Berea picked for Livable Communities competition

Berea is one of four Appalachian communities chosen for a program to help promote economic development, preserve rural lands and increase access to locally grown food.
Full Story

Ohio News
Report: missing boy may have been killed with mom

A published report says police believe a missing Ohio boy may have been killed along with his mother last month.
Full Story

PREVIOUS NEWS: NOV | CURRENT







Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site







Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.